Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Review: [Insert Film Title]

[Insert title of Pixar or Dreamworks animation] is set in a world where [insert inanimate object and/or animal of the moment- into the review, that is, you pervert!] behave just like human beings. Imagine, instead of [everyday human activity] these [cute, anthropomorphised objects/animals] spend their time doing [everyday human activity, but with an ironic twist]! Once again the animation whizzes at [Pixar or Dreamworks] have worked their magic to create a world that is [insert cluster of stale adjectives], and guaranteed to entertain children of all ages.

The story goes like this. [Insert name of likeable-yet-bland protagonist] has lived a charmed life until one day [insert brief description of the event that disrupts the protagonist's neatly ordered world forcing him/her - but most likely him - to face his/her fears]. With the help of [insert names of protagonist's rag-tag gang of stereotypical losers, including best friend whose multiple character flaws the almost-perfect protagonist deigns not to judge nor attempt to remedy] [protagonist] sets out to right this wrong, having many thrilling adventures along the way.

Voiced by [insert name of second-tier Hollywood star who mugged his way through the script between visits to rehab] [protagonist] is a delight, and sure to be a hit with audiences. The voice ensemble, which includes [insert names of other featured second- and third-tier Hollywood stars, plus at least one former cast member of Cheers] is excellent, while the fast-paced narrative barely pauses for breath, sweeping the entire audience along with it. In fact [film title] is one for the whole family. Kids will love its gentle humour, while adults will enjoy [the quality of the animation and/or the occasional risque gag and pop culture reference inserted into the film in order to flatter the adult audience that their predictable range of shared culture is actually some kind of occult knowledge, thereby magnifying the humour's effect as the adults in the audience strive to demonstrate that they get the joke and/or reference.] There is even a moral to the story: [insert description of trite "lesson" that will be completely forgotten in the rush to get to McDonald's to buy the tie-in Happy Meal].

In short, [insert lengthy peroration consisting mostly of snappy, essentially meaningless statements of opinion as to the film's excellence in a desperate bid to be quoted on posters and/or other marketing material]. This reviewer hasn't seen an animated film of this quality since [insert name of Pixar or Dreamworks feature that took the world by storm last school holidays]. As [protagonist] says: "[insert banal catch-phrase revealed by focus groups to be the most memorable for audiences aged four to fourteen, thus providing residual brand recognition for up to six months following a single viewing of the product coupled with exposure to related promotions and/or hypnotic brain-washing via after school children's programming]!"


TimT said...


You saw Cars, didn't you?

And I'm super-impressed that you managed to work the term 'peroration' into the post!

Ampersand Duck said...

Well, that saves a lot of time and energy. Excellent post.

Zoe said...

I give it two thumbs up!

TimT said...

Only two? ;)

Jellyfish said...

I have seen 'Cars' twice. And I have observed three very different children watching it. Not only did it bore me senseless (and I quite like many Disney/Pixar films) but it left them utterly underwhelmed. One fell asleep, another kept 'needing to go to the toilet' just for something to do.

Yet, I have not seen a bad review. That GIMP from The Age with food on his tracksuit whose name I refuse to mention gave it five stars *throttles*

At least those slight Dreamworks films like 'Madagascar' or 'Shark Tale'' have some genuinely sharp jokes (although very little else going for them save the occasional amusing dance routine). 'Cars' ISN'T EVEN FUNNY. And it's attempts at social commentary and 'sentiment' are so lame and hokey that I -- excuse me, I think I just vomited a little in my mouth thinking about them.

And would it kill them to have a female protagonist for ONCE?

And don't even get me started on how those goddamn vehicles are meant to have sex.

Thankyou for writing this. I may have achieved some sense of catharsis.

*gets a life*

Tim said...

Cars is Pixar's first genuine dud. I've liked some of their other films - especially the Incredibles - but stuff like Finding Nemo leaves me cold, although I can understand kids liking it. I can't understand anybody liking Cars. My daughter was pretty unimpressed, and she's not exactly renowned for her taste, being capable of watching Cheaper by the Dozen several times a week.

TimT said...

I didn't mind it, though I don't think it had any really genuine jokes. It was a character-based film, and that might have been part of their problem - you can do a film about robots, animals of most sorts, or fairytale monsters, and you will usually have some way of displaying character. The anthropomorphic principle can be taken to some pretty strange places.

You can't do the same thing with cars, they're just lumps of steel that you can't really anthropomorphise. Still, I think the central idea - the development of Lightning's character - was decently done, and I liked the glimpse into southern American life.

There have definitely been a few animation duds over the past few years. Chicken Run was surprisingly terrible, and Shrek 2 was very disappointing.

Tim said...

Wallace and Grommit: The Curse of the Ware-Rabbit was good but.